Review: Guardians of Ga’hoole: The Capture by Kathryn Lasky

September 9, 2010 8-12 years of age, Kid-Lit/Middle Grade, Review, Scholastic 5

  • Reading level: Ages 9-12
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks (August 1, 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0545253063
  • Source: Big Honcho Media
  • Soren is a young barn owl who lives with his family in the kingdom of Tyto experiencing the typical barn owl life.  He learns about the legends of mighty owls called the Guardians of Ga’Hoole through stories his parents tell him and his siblings.

    Soren falls (so he thinks) from his nest and is snatched up by chick-snatching owls and taken to St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls.  He is told that his parents are dead, thereby making him an orphan.  He befriends a young owl named  Gylfie, and the two discover that the Academy is brainwashing the young owls, forcing them to forget their names, their entire past.  Soren & Gylfie are forced to come up with a means to escape St. Aegolius. One of the many things preventing them from escaping is their ability to fly.  This skill is typically taught to a young owl by his/her parents, but these two young owls must learn on their own. During their journey home, they discover the owl world is in horrible danger and they must rush to do what they can to protect it.

    My oldest son, John, and I read this book together. We both found it quite engaging.  John was interested in it because he learned a great deal about owls and their behavior (and their droppings!) We also learned a great deal about owl culture, and Lasky used it to detail social structure. While this is clearly a fiction book, some of the text “feels” nonfiction, which I feel increased my son’s interest in reading it. 

    THE CAPTURE It is a perfect book for reluctant reader because it is so engaging, fast-paced and full of action.  The length is perfect for a young reader as well, just under 230 pages. This book is geared toward 9-12 year old children. I agree, however the younger part of that age range may need assistance with pronunciation of some of the words. John is turning 11 and had a small difficulty with some of the complex terms used.

    John & I definitely plan on continuing with this series! Now that we’ve read THE CAPTURE we plan on rushing out to see the movie when it hits the theaters on September 24th.

    Be sure to come back later this afternoon! Two lucky winners will receive:

    • A copy of Guardians of Ga’hoole: The Capture by Kathryn Lasky
    • A copy the first book in Kathryn Lasky’s new series — Wolves of the Beyond: Lone Wolf 

    About the Author:
    Kathryn Lasky is the Newbery Honor author of over one hundred fiction and nonfiction books for children and young adults. She lives with her husband in Cambridge, Massachusetts. You can visit her online at

    Be sure to check out the official web site for the book series ( and learn some more owl facts, download some owl printables, and play some great games!

    Finally, to get you more excited about the movie, check out the trailer:

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    5 Responses to “Review: Guardians of Ga’hoole: The Capture by Kathryn Lasky”

    1. carol

      My daughter’s reading this now. Glad to see you enjoyed it. She seems to be liking it but the bits she’s told me have been kind of confusing.

      She already read Lone Wolf and can’t wait for another in that series to come out.

      • Jenn
        Twitter: jennbookshelves

        Yes, John was the same. He started to read it independently but ultimately needed me to read it along with him. For independent reading, I’d recommend it for readers 12 and older.

    2. Pam
      Twitter: bookaliciouspam

      This sounds perfect for Addie and I! Great review. Love the trailer.